adjective \ ˈtrīt \
|Updated on: 24 Jul 2018

Definition of trite

triter; tritest
: hackneyed or boring from much use : not fresh or original





Examples of trite in a Sentence

  1. The wrong sort of built environment, she argued, wrecked the social fabric of cities. This view seems almost trite today, but in the 1960's it was insurgent. —Robert KuttnerNew York Times Book Review12 Mar. 2000
  2. Experts are always unique (their tritest pronouncements are packaged as news) … —Wendy KaminerNew York Times Book Review11 Feb. 1990
  3. Its wares are soiled with frequent handling; its styles are so hackneyed, trite, and homogeneous, they constitute a single style … —Joyce Carol OatesThe Profane Art1983
  4. That argument has become trite.

  5. by the time the receiving line had ended, the bride and groom's thanks sounded trite and tired

Recent Examples of trite from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of trite

Latin tritus, from past participle of terere to rub, wear away — more at 1throw

Synonym Discussion of trite

trite, hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest. trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity.
    • "you win some, you lose some" is a trite expression
hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless.
    • all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed
stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form.
    • views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date
threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.
    • a mystery novel with a threadbare plot

TRITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of trite for English Language Learners

  • : not interesting or effective because of being used too often : not fresh or original

TRITE Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈtrīt \

Definition of trite for Students

triter; tritest
: so common that the newness and cleverness have worn off : stale
  • trite remarks

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